LightSquared Spends $100M on Proposed GPS Fix

LightSquared said Thursday that it has already spent $100 million on moving into the lower frequencies of the L-Band in a bid to alleviate its interference issues with GPS satellite signals.

The working group assigned to look into the GPS issue, which includes LightSquared and representatives from the satellite industry, has sent a 1,200-page report to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . The Harbinger Capital Partners LP -backed venture also sent a 58-page recommendation to the government agency. [Ed note: Oooh, some quality 4th of July holiday reading then, Dan.] (See LightSquared Submits Plan to FCC and LightSquared Gets a GPS Extension.)

In the recommendation, LightSquared pushes the already-revealed concept of moving down the L-Band spectrum, because "Transmissions in the 10 MHz band at the top of LightSquared's downlink frequencies -- the band nearest to the GPS frequencies -- will adversely affect the performance of a significant number of legacy GPS receivers." (See LightSquared Offers GPS Olive Branch.)

LightSquared has already proposed its solution: Move down the spectrum band. It says that "transmissions in the 10MHz band at the bottom of LightSquared downlink frequencies -- the band farthest away from the GPS frequencies -- will not adversely affect the performance of over 99 percent of GPS receivers."

This includes GPS receivers in mobile phones.

The operator says in its document that it has already spent "over a hundred million dollars to shift the timing of its access to portions of the frequency bands it shares with Inmarsat that serve as a critical component of the LightSquared network." It will spend much more to work with government agencies over the coming years to figure out how to use the full extent of the spectrum it owns.

LightSquared is proposing this as a "middle ground" for the FCC and the satellite industry over the GPS issue. The industry, meanwhile, has asked the FCC to find different spectrum for LightSquared's proposed hybrid satellite and LTE network. (See LightSquared Opposition Wants Spectrum Shift.)

The FCC now has to make its own recommendations on the plan.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:00:36 PM
re: LightSquared Spends $100M on Proposed GPS Fix

Will the FCC go for the altered LightSquared plan?

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:00:35 PM
re: LightSquared Spends $100M on Proposed GPS Fix

Seems like L2 is just using this "compromise" as a way to get started and will eventually move back up to the higher portion of its spectrum anyway.

It's banking on the FCC's approval since it's already rolling out the infrastructure, but I don't think it'll be an easy fight.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:00:33 PM
re: LightSquared Spends $100M on Proposed GPS Fix

Don’t forget an amendment that is currently tabled by the legislators that would bar L2 from doing anything until they can prove that it will not harm the GPS service.  So it is more than just a tough sell to the FCC, it has to be sold to the legislative branch as well as the executive branch.  With the past history of L2, they have yet to actually tell the truth in the beginning; it has been like this for years.  Take a look at their original proposal and what they want to do now?  There are not even remotely similar.  More recently, they were adamant that their proposal would not impact GPS at all.  The reports comes in and it clearly shows that there was serious interference in it.  So either L2 is totally incompetent and runs their tests in such a way that they pass, or they are just lying to get what they want.


The report from a capital investment group should be sent to the circular file.

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